Being a mother is one of the most rewarding experiences life has to offer. It’s also one of the most exhausting ones!
It’s easy to put off self-care when you’re focused on making certain your family is being cared for. I have a hard time prioritizing self-care as I juggle children, work, taking care of the house, cooking, and so on. Basic things like eating well and getting enough rest are the first things to go when we’re extra-busy.
I was recently feeling so burned out that I realized it was time to make some significant changes. I know I’m not the only mother to struggle with self-care, so I wanted to share with you some things I’ve been doing to make sure I’m taking better care of myself.
They’re all things I usually need a gentle nudge to remind me to prioritize when I’m frazzled and busy. Maybe you do, too.
- Treat yourself for no specific reason.
I generally don’t buy myself things “just because.” That’s generally not a bad thing. I strive to be a minimalist, so I don’t like being surrounded by a bunch of things. But it can be fun, and it makes me feel good, when I splurge on a little something for myself Things like scented candles, bubble bath, new snacks, coffee, and other consumables are my usual splurges that allow me to feel like I’m treating myself.
- Take time for your hobbies.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the routine of daily family life. Often days, weeks, or even months have flown by when you suddenly realize you haven’t been pursuing your hobbies or favorite pastimes.
Schedule specific time for you to do the things that you enjoy. Spending time with your spouse and kids is enjoyable, too–but it’s important to do things that you love that are exclusively for you to enjoy. Maybe it’s reading, blogging, yoga classes, or going for a long walk. Taking time to do things that help fill your cup will make you a happier mother. And a happy mother = a happy family!
- Make chores more enjoyable.
This one may sound silly, but it’s done wonders for me.
When I have mundane tasks or chores to do that aren’t fun, I do whatever I can to make it a more enjoyable time for me. When I’m doing dishes, I’ll turn on some of my favorite music to enjoy. This makes the time pass more quickly. When I fold laundry, I light scented candles in the room and listen to a good podcast.
I almost always have a book with me so I can read when I’m waiting in the car at school pick-up time, or stuck in the waiting room before an appointment. Sometimes I’ll even swing by a coffee shop on my way to grab a latte or an iced coffee to enjoy while I read.
Finding even little ways like this to bring a bit more enjoyment into your life can make a huge difference. It makes you feel really good to do a special little something just for you.
- Be active throughout your day.
Fitness routines are important. But it can be hard to find time for them!
My mood is definitely improved on the days when I’ve exercised. That doesn’t have to include a trip to the gym. It could just be heading outside for a 10-minute walk in the neighborhood, doing a few squats or jumping jacks while waiting for dinner to finish cooking, or chasing the kids out in the yard.
Making the effort to move around and to be active every day is an excellent way to better care for your physical self. Bonus: it will also give your mood a needed boost!
- Make sure to get enough sleep.
I struggle with getting myself to bed at a decent hour each night. I can always find another email to write, another mound of laundry to fold, or another pile of dishes to wash. I have a hard time ending productivity at night, because that’s the only time I can get things done without my kids around.
A few months back, I regularly wasn’t going to bed until around 1 a.m., and was getting up by 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. when the baby was waking up for the day. Those four to five precious hours of sleep were usually interrupted by the other kids at least one or two times. That’s not exactly a good night of sleep!
Since then, I’ve prioritized getting myself to bed at a more reasonable hour. By 10 p.m. I turn off my computer or wrap up household chores so I can go to bed promptly. There’s certainly several more things I could get done on any given night, but I understand now that I sometimes need to let a few things go. Taking care of myself and getting the rest I need is much more important than my to-do list. Yes, even the top item!
What are some of the ways you work self-care into your daily routine? Leave a note in the comments section to share!